#9 ASU football heads to UCLA for final road game of 2007
Date: Saturday, November 10, 2007
Kickoff: 12:30 p.m. PT (1:30 p.m. Arizona)
Site: Rose Bowl (91,136) - Pasadena, Calif.
Play-by-Play: Dan Fouts
Sideline: Todd Harris
Play-by-Play: Tim Healey
• Arizona State started 8-0 for the first time since 1996 and the fifth time in school history
• Keegan Herring surpassed the 2,000-yard career rushing mark and Rudy Carpenter passed the 7,000 career passing yard mark against Oregon
• Rudy Carpenter is the fourth QB in ASU history to pass for 2,000 yards three straight years
• Senior WR Rudy Burgess is the only active player in the Pac-10 Conference and one of three in the nation to have surpassed 1,000 yards rushing, receiving and returning during his career
• The Sun Devil defense has forced a turnover in 11 straight games, dating back to last season
• The ASU defense has allowed an average of 1.3 points in the fourth quarter this season
• Arizona State is bowl eligible for the fourth straight season, the second time in school history it has done that
• Rudy Carpenter completed his first seven passes against the Ducks
• ASU has not suffered back-to-back losing seasons in 59 years, the fourth longest active streak in the nation
ON THE AIR
The Sun Devil Sports Network will carry all 12 of ASU's football games live on its 10-station radio network, including flagship station Sports 620 KTAR AM. Tim Healey (play-by-play) and former Sun Devil quarterback Jeff Van Raaphorst (color analyst) will call the action.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION
ABC will televise the Sun Devils meeting with UCLA to a national audience. Dan Fouts will handle play-by-play while Tim Brant will serve as color analyst. Todd Harris will patrol the sidelines.
SUN DEVILS VS. BRUINS
Saturday will be the 24th meeting between the Sun Devils and the Bruins. UCLA leads the all-time series 15-7-1, including a 7-4-1 lead at the Rose Bowl. ASU has dropped two straight decisions to UCLA, including last season's 24-12 loss at Sun Devil Stadium. Arizona State has not won at the Rose Bowl since 1996.
IN THE POLLS
The Sun Devils come into the match up with UCLA ranked #9 in the AP Poll, the USA Today poll and in the BCS Standings. Prior to the loss to Oregon, ASU was ranked #4 in the BCS, the highest BCS ranking in school history.
Dennis Dixon and the Oregon offense were too much for the Sun Devils, as Oregon ended ASU's eight-game winning streak with a 35-23 win at Autzen Stadium. The Heisman candidate threw four touchdown passes to lead the Ducks to the win. Rudy Carpenter threw two scores of his own and passed for 379 yards in the loss. Mike Jones had four catches for 121 yards and a touchdown.
ASU VS. OREGON NOTES
• QB Rudy Carpenter started the game by connecting on his first seven passes
• Arizona State was only the third team this season to hold Oregon RB Jonathan Stewart to under 100 yards rushing
• The Sun Devils shut an opponent out in the fourth quarter for the sixth time this season.
ONE OF THE PAC-10'S FINEST
Rudy Carpenter continues to be one of the top QBs in the Pac-10 Conference. Carpenter is tied with WSU's Alex Brink as the active leader among Pac-10 quarterbacks with nine career 300-yard games. Carpenter ranks second to Brink, who is a year of eligibility ahead of Carpenter, in passing attempts, completed passes, passing yards and touchdown passes. Carpenter now has 59 career touchdown passes and has thrown for 7,124 yards. Carpenter has been named a semifinalist for the Davey O'Brien Award, given to the nation's top QB.
Rudy Carpenter now has 59 touchdown passes in his career. He is only the fourth Sun Devil all-time to throw at least 50 touchdowns, joining Andrew Walter (85), Jake Plummer (65) and Danny White (64). The 59 career TD passes are tied for 16th most in Pac-10 history, ahead of USC's Rob Johnson for 19th. He is currently tied with WSU's Ryan Leaf and Oregon's Joey Harrington for 16th, and is one away from tying Oregon's Bill Musgrave for 15th in Pac-10 history.
With his 379 yards through the air against the Ducks, Rudy Carpenter now has 7,124 career passing yards as a Sun Devil. He is only the third Sun Devil to ever pass the 7,000 yard mark, joining Andrew Walter (10,617) and Jake Plummer (8,827). He also topped the 2,000 yard mark for the season, the third straight year he has achieved that milestone. He has 2,328 yards passing so far in 2007. He is the fourth Sun Devil in history to pass for at least 2,000 yards three straight times. He joins Jeff Van Raaphorst (1984-86), Jake Plummer (1994-96) and Andrew Walter (2002-04) on that list.
WR Mike Jones had an economical receiving day against the Ducks, hauling in four catches for 121 yards and a touchdown. It is the second time this season Jones has topped the century mark on only four catches. He had a career high 124 yards on four grabs in the win over Oregon State on Sept. 22. Jones has now caught six touchdowns on the season after scoring only three times entering this season.
Arizona State's streak of 10 straight games with an interception came to an end against Oregon, but ASU did recover a Duck fumble, giving the Sun Devil defense a takeaway in 11 straight games, dating back to last season.
Troy Nolan picked up his fifth interception of the year against Washington on Oct. 13. The five picks by Nolan is the most by a Sun Devil in a single season since Nijrell Eason had five in 2000.
Rudy Burgess is one of only three active FBS players and one of only 14 FBS players all-time to top the 1,000-yard mark in rushing, receiving and return yardage. In his career, Burgess has 1,082 yards on the ground, 1,438 yards through the air and 1,279 return yards on both punts and kickoffs. He has scored 18 times as a Sun Devil, six rushing and 12 receiving. He also threw a 43-yard touchdown pass to Derek Hagan in 2005 against Washington State. Hagan set the school record for career touchdown receptions on that pass.
TOM THE TOE
Groza Award candidate Thomas Weber has begun his ASU career like no other kicker before him. The redshirt freshman kicker had his school record of 17-straight successful field goal attempts end against the Ducks. Before missing wide right on a 32-yard attempt at the end of the second quarter, Weber had connected on a 19-yarder and a 34-yarder to give him 17 field goals in a row. Not only was that the best streak in ASU history to begin a career, it's also a school record for most consecutive made field goals. Alan (1987) and Luis (1981) Zendejas shared the previous record of nine, and Mike Richey held the previous record of consecutive field goals to begin a career at eight in 1989 and 1990. Weber started a new streak in the third quarter, blasting a 50-yard field goal to set a new career high. 13 of his 18 field goals have come from at least 30 yards, and Weber has scored 88 points on the year. Weber has also taken over the punting duties, averaging 41.5 yards per boot. He has had five kicks downed inside the 20-yard line.
Weber's 18 field goals so far this season tie him with Jesse Ainsworth (2004), Jon Baker (1993), and Kent Bostrom (1985 and 1986) for fourth most field goals made in a single season. Luis Zendejas holds the school record with 28, going 28-37 in the 1983 season. Weber needs five more to tie Mike Barth, who made 23 in 2002, for third on the list. Weber is first in the Pac-10 in scoring, averaging 9.78 points per game.
ROBERT 'THE BEAST' JAMES
Robert James continues to be a leader on the Sun Devil defense. James has led Arizona State in tackles six times this year, and is leading the team with 78 total tackles. He's also made eight tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks this season. He recorded nine tackles against the Ducks.
Sophomore defensive end Dexter Davis enjoyed one of the most sensational freshman seasons by a Sun Devil defender in school history last season, earning Pac-10 All-Freshman honors and honorable mention freshman All-America recognition by The Sporting News. The Phoenix, Ariz., native recorded a team-best and Pac-10 freshman season-high 6.0 quarterback sacks, the third-most by a Sun Devil rookie in school history. Davis' total trails only those by Terrell Suggs (2000) and Shante Carver (1990), who each posted 10.0 sacks as a freshman and in total, Suggs (44 career sacks) and Carver (41) rank first and second on ASU's all-time career sacks list. Also, Davis totaled 40 tackles on the season, the most by an ASU freshman since TSN freshman All-America safety Jason Shivers' team-high 89 total stops in 2001. Davis has picked up right where he left off, as he has racked up a team leading 6.5 sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss.
RANK AND FILE
Arizona State is ranked nationally in many major categories on both offense and defense. The Sun Devils are ranked 13th nationally in pass efficiency defense (102.43). The defense is also ranked 16th in the nation in rushing defense (101.7 ypg). The Sun Devils lead the country in Time of Possession at 34:30 and are 8th in the country in Pass Efficiency (155.95). Troy NolanRudy Carpenter is 10th nationally in pass efficiency (156.53), while Thomas Weber is tied for 6th nationally with 18 field goals. is tied for 7th in the nation with five interceptions.
No team in the Pac-10 showcased as many talented defensive freshmen as ASU did in 2006, headlined by defensive end Dexter Davis and linebacker Travis Goethel, both of whom earned Pac-10 All-Freshman and honorable mention Freshman All-America honors by The Sporting News. Both Davis and Goethel anchor the Sun Devil defense in 2007.
The Sun Devils showcase one of the most experienced and honored offensive lines in the Pac-10, as ASU boasts the only unit of linemen in the conference which returns all five starters from the conclusion of the 2006 season. Also, ASU returns three offensive linemen that received All-Pac-10 honors in 2006, trailing only Oregon State for most in the conference and five Sun Devil linemen, including four starters, have already earned their undergraduate degree. The Sun Devil front five is led by second-team All-Pac-10 center, graduate Mike Pollak and honorable mention All-Pac-10 recipients junior guard Paul Fanaika and graduate tackle Brandon Rodd. Graduate guard Robert Gustavis and graduate tackle Julius Orieuwku also provide starting experience for 2007. In 2006, the Sun Devil blockers helped enable ASU to gain its greatest rushing total since 1999 and showcase the team's first 1,000-yard runner since 2001. So far this season, the line has done their job again. ASU is averaging 166 yards per game on the ground and Ryan Torain reached the 100 yard mark on the ground three times. Keegan Herring also has two 100-yard games under his belt. Also, ASU has rushed for 14 touchdowns so far this year.
RUNNIN' WITH THE DEVILS
After establishing itself in recent years as a national offensive powerhouse predominately predicated on its passing attack, ASU proved it could attack opposing defenses with a punishing ground game last season. The Sun Devils boast one of the best backfields in the Pac-10, featuring junior Keegan Herring and sophomore Dimitri Nance. ASU rushed for 2,206 yards in 2006 and so far in 2007 it has gained 1,494 yards on the ground. In total, ASU has three of eight active Pac-10 ballcarriers to have surpassed 1,000 career rushing yards, including Herring and Ryan Torain as well as senior wide receiver Rudy Burgess, who is a dangerous all-purpose threat and was ASU's starting tailback during the 2004 and 2005 seasons.
KEEGAN CONTINUES TO IMPRESS
After breaking ASU's freshman rushing record by totaling 870 yards in 2005, junior Keegan Herring rushed for 549 yards on 94 carries in 2006 as part of the most dynamic rushing combination in the Pac-10 Conference. One of the quickest athletes in the Pac-10, Herring led all Sun Devil runners last season averaging 5.8 yards-per-carry and is one of only four active ballcarriers in the conference to have rushed for over 500 yards in each of the past two seasons. He has hit the 500 yard mark again, the third straight year he has surpassed it. Herring has 659 yards on 110 carries so far in 2007. In 34 career games, the Peoria (Ariz.) High School product has totaled 362 carries for 2,078 yards and 16 rushing touchdowns.
With his 83 yards against the Ducks, Keegan Herring became the 16th Sun Devil to rush for over 2,000 yards in his career. Herring now has 2,078 yards, one of only five active Pac-10 running backs to achieve the 2,000 yard mark. He is the first Sun Devil to get to 2,000 yards since J.R. Redmond, who did it from 1996 to 1999. Herring is now 13th all-time in ASU history with his 2,078 yards, 19 yards shy of Gerald Riggs for 12th place.
PAC-10, BACK THEN
Dating back to the 2006 season, ASU is tied with USC and UCLA for the best Pac-10 record amongst all 10 conference members. The Sun Devils, Bruins and Trojans are 7-3 in their last 10 conference games.
JUST WIN BABY
Rudy Carpenter is now 19-8 as Arizona State's starting quarterback. That's the fifth most victories by a starting ASU QB all-time. Danny White holds the all-time record for wins by a starting QB, going 30-3 in from 1971 to 1973. Dennis Sproul is second with a 26-11 record from 1974-77. Carpenter is two wins shy of Jeff Van Raaphorst for fourth place.
FACING RANKED TEAMS
Dennis Erickson is no stranger to facing ranked opponents. In his career, Coach Erickson is 27-16 against Top 25 teams, including an 8-5 record against teams in the Top 5. Historic Start: The 8-0 start at ASU for Dennis Erickson was not only the best start by a coach in school history, it was one of the best starts in the history of the Pac-10 Conference. The 8-0 mark was the second best start by a Pac-10 coach in the Post-War Era, and the best start in the past 56 years. In 1951, Stanford's Charles Taylor started 9-0. Coach Erickson is also the first ASU coach to ever win his first five Pac-10 games at ASU.
For just the second time in ASU history, the Sun Devils are bowl eligible for a bowl game for the fourth straight season. The last time ASU went to four straight bowl games was from 1970 to 1973, when they appeared in the Peach Bowl and the first three Fiesta Bowls.
NO 'LITTLE' THING
At halftime of the USC game on Thanksgiving, Sun Devil fans will be treated to musical legend Little Richard. He is an inaugural member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and will perform with the Sun Devil Marching Band.
TWO SPORT WONDERS
The Arizona State football team has several two-sport athletes on the roster. WR Mike Jones has spent the past two seasons as a centerfielder for the baseball team, including last year's Pac-10 Championship team that advanced to the College World Series. Jones was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 42nd round of the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft, but has opted not to sign a contract and will return to the baseball team in 2008. WR Kyle Williams will also play baseball for ASU in 2008. He took the 2007 baseball season off to concentrate on football, but hopes to compete for an infield spot in 2008. In addition to the baseball players, ASU football also has three student-athletes who participated in the Pac-10 Track & Field Championships last season. WR Rodney Glass, CB Justin Tryon and WR Brandon Smith all ran for the Devils in Palo Alto, Calif.
POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE
Eight members of the Arizona State football team have already earned their undergraduate degrees, tied for the fifth most players in the country. Five of the ASU grads are offensive linemen.
Sun Devil Stadium was filled to capacity for the meeting with Cal, and the next home game against USC has already sold out.
ASU PICKED FOURTH IN PAC-10 POLL
ASU was picked to finish fourth in the Pacific-10 Conference by West Coast media members who regularly cover the league.
Several Sun Devils have earned mid-season accolades from various outlets. Troy Nolan was named a Second Team mid-season All-American by Sports Illustrated and was named to the Thorpe Award Watch List, while Thomas Weber was named a First Team mid-season All-American by CBS Sportsline, a Second Teamer by Scout.com and a Third Team mid-season All-American by Phil Steele. Robert James earned Fourth Team All-American honors from Phil Steele, while Ryan Torain, Mike Pollak, Paul Fanaika, Brandon Rodd, Dexter Davis and Kyle Williams were named Second Team All-Pac-10 by Steele. Mike Jones was named to the Third Team. Pollak also earned First Team mid-season All-American honors by Scout.com. Michael Marquardt was named a Semi-Finalist for the Draddy Trophy, the Academic Heisman. QB Rudy Carpenter has been named a semifinalist for Davey O'Brien Award, awarded annually to the nation's top quarterback.
Arizona State will return to the field on Thanksgiving Night, November 22 for a meeting with USC. ESPN will televise the game nationally with kickoff at 6 p.m.